KLCI eases from 11-month high, but persistent interest in penny stocks pushes FBM Small Cap Index to two-year high

KLCI eases from 11-month high, but persistent interest in penny stocks pushes FBM Small Cap Index to two-year high
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 27): The FBM KLCI eased from its 11-month high, dropping 0.28% as profit-taking emerged. Still, the benchmark index ended the week above the 1,600-point level at 1,607.59 points — the highest weekly closing since July 31. 

Across the board, persistent interest in penny stocks, which dominated the actively traded list today with handsome gains, lifted the FBM Small Cap Index to 14,588.15 points — the highest closing since end-August 2018. 

The trading interest in penny stocks also boosted the trading volume in the local bourse to more than 10 billion at 10.36 billion shares. The last time that Bursa Malaysia’s trading volume exceeded 10 billion shares was more than a week ago on Nov 18, when it was at 14.41 billion shares.

Gainers outnumbered losers by 621 versus 605, while 406 counters remained unchanged.

TA Securities Holdings Bhd senior technical analyst Stephen Soo said there were some profit-taking activities today in the local bourse following the strong ending yesterday.

Looking into next week, Soo expects the KLCI to enter into consolidation mode following the strong gains this week.  

While the market momentum is still healthy, fuelled by strong retail participation, he opined that the benchmark index needed a fresh catalyst to uplift it further, especially more certainty needed from the political front.  

The upcoming debates for Budget 2021 which will take place next Monday (Nov 30) are expected to generate some concerns for investors, he noted.

“Should the market sentiment improve from here, the psychological resistant levels to watch are the 1,650 level, and this is followed by 1,680. While the key support levels to look at are 1,600 and 1,578,” he added.

Axiata Group Bhd emerged on the top gainers list after the group said its net profit nearly doubled to RM352.99 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2020 (3QFY20), from RM179.27 million in 2QFY20. It closed up 38 sen or 11.34% to RM3.73.

Technology companies KESM Industries Bhd and Vitrox Corp Bhd are also on the top gainers list.

Kanger International Bhd topped the actively traded list after some 729.39 million shares exchanged hands. It closed at 18.5 sen, down half a sen or 2.78%.

Other actively traded stocks included AT Systematization Bhd, Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd, Key Alliance Group Bhd, Metronic Global Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4%, while Seoul's Kospi climbed up 0.29%. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.39%, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index closed up 1.14%.

CNBC reported that stocks in Asia-Pacific nudged higher on Friday as investors reacted to data on China’s industrial profits for October.

“Markets also scrutinized concerns over the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, with results and methods used in their phase three vaccine trials under criticism from experts in the US,” it added.

Kathy Fong